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Seeking camellia guru

Posted by iDixieRose z8b Coastal SC (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 26, 04 at 20:00

I'd like to talk with someone who is very experienced with camellias and who makes house calls. Send me an email and we can discuss.

Here's my situation: A number of our camellias appear to be in decline and I'm having trouble figuring out what the problem is. Most of the bushes appear to be 20+ years old.
Some of the bushes appear to be healthy, however I don't see much new growth. Some of the newer camellias have hardly grown at all in the past 5 years. It's very frustrating to me tending these camellias and not making progress.

I've been watching these bushes for the past 5 years. I've had the soil tested several times. The pH is within the correct range for camellias. The bushes are watered and fed. I've thinned out the centers, added peat to the soil, sprayed for scale control, etc.

A few years ago, a friend who has grown camellias for more than 30 years visited my garden and he seemed to think our camellia growing situation was OK. Still, it bothers me to see so many of our camellias not growing or in decline.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Seeking camellia guru

On those old bushes, they are most likely at their full growth. You will see little or no growth from year to year. As they lose leaves, they begin to look worse and worse. The usual way to take care of this (if this IS the problem) is to severly prune the bush.

Now about the newer ones. They may be a slow growing variety like the Pink Perfection. You might see only an inch or two a year. Or the root ball may have been in bad shape when they were planted. It's hard to say.

Your best bet would be to get someone in the area to take a look at them. Is there a Camellia Society near you? I am sure they would have someone that could help.

Good luck!!

RE: Seeking camellia guru

Try contacting the American Camellia Society to find someone who is active in one of the South Carolina societies. An email address for the ACS horticulturist is The web site also lists email addresses and contacts for some of the local camellia societies.

Here is a link that might be useful: American Camellia Society

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